Do Any of You Have Problems with Facial Recognition?

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ChefDave
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22 May 2018, 10:28 am

Do any of you have problems with recognizing others?
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Although I can identify people with whom I've frequently interacted such as my building administrators or the head of building maintenance, I've had (and continue to have) problems with identifying people whom I don't see very often.

If you take 8 kids (pictured above) of a similar ethnicity, gender, general age, and physique, I can't tell them apart.

A few years ago after transferring to my current school, my Department Chair and I drove to Las Vegas for a district wide meeting of all Career and Technical Education teachers. After arriving at this conference, I excused myself to use the restroom. The Department Chair, (I will call him George which is not his real name), told me that he'd find us seats.

When I came out of the restroom, I looked for George. George was a heavy set middle aged white guy with a brown beard. He had been wearing a blue shirt. How many heavy set middle aged white guys with brown beards and blue shirts could there have been? I thought I'd be able to find George but instead found six people matching the aforementioned description who were scattered about the conference hall.

I wound up not sitting with George. George later found me for lunch and asked me where I had been. I was too embarrassed to tell him that I hadn't been able to recognize him.

More recently we had an evening event at our school which required the presence of all teachers. After the event, I went to Chili's for dinner. I was reading a book on my tablet when I looked up to see a woman waving at me from the bar. I assumed that she was waving at someone behind me and ignored her. A few moments later the guy seated next to her began waving. I ignored him as well.

On the following morning while I was walking down a hallway, the school counselor popped out of her office to ask me why I hadn't waved at her last night at Chili's. This experience provided me with a new insight. Not only do I have problems with identifying people from their facial features but my recognition of people also depends upon my situation context.

I had no problems with recognizing the school counselor while at work, but I failed to recognize her when we were off campus.

I apologized for my unintentional rudeness in not having returned the counselor's wave. I explained my problem regarding my ability to identify people. I then asked her who her companion had been. Since he had also waved at me, I assumed he must have also been a colleague.

The counselor turned red and told me that the stranger had been a date and that he didn't work at our school.

I asked her why the waved at me and she turned even more red and told me that he had been joking I presume from her redness that she was embarrassed though I don't understand why. I also don't understand the joke. No matter. (sigh)

Since I have problems with recognizing my students (unless they're advanced culinary and I've had them for 2-3 years), I've compensated by having an assigned seating chart for each class. Although I allowed students to choose their own seats at the start of the year, these choices then became their permanent seating assignment. This makes it easier for me to take attendance. It also helps during class discussions by indicating who I'm speaking with.

When we go in the kitchen, I require students to write their names on the recipes at each station. Signing in lets me know who was at each station. This is sometimes important if a group left the station without properly cleaning tools and equipment.

I was wondering if any of you had similar problems regarding your ability to recognize others. If you have had similar problems, what sort of coping mechanisms have you developed?



kraftiekortie
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22 May 2018, 10:30 am

I tend to experience difficulty recognizing uniformed people when they are not in uniform.



drlaugh
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22 May 2018, 10:39 am

I have trouble recognizing people outside the usual place I see them.


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EzraS
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22 May 2018, 10:51 am

I have a certain degree of face blindness (Prosopagnosia).



Nira
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22 May 2018, 11:06 am

Yes, I have too problems with recognizing faces. Me too help, when people sit always on same places. At work I have map with names where who sit. After few years I remember most my colleagues, but some colleagues have "double" in our floor. I remember people by hair, height, clothes, beard, glasses, voice. When someone change something, I have difficulty to recognize him. My map with names help me with changes or with learning recognizing new people.

In my job they probably plan create shared workplaces/clean desk policy (people will sit randomly, where will be free place). At college I struggled with recognizing people, because every subject was with another group of students and without seating order and I couldn't learn them. For me was success when I remembered one person from group to check if I'm in the right room. I don't know what I will do if they will implement shared workplaces in my job.


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22 May 2018, 2:20 pm

Wait those are different kids? Are you sure some of them aren’t the same? They are the exact same!

I have a mild-moderate degree of prosopagnosia. I can’t recognize anyone based on their face. It makes it quite hard when people have changed something about them (such as their hair) or when I have only seen them a few times.


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kraftiekortie
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22 May 2018, 2:24 pm

Hmmm....I wonder if it could be the same person in the pictures----but at different ages ranging from about 6 to adult.

This person or persons seems to have a genetic disorder which I can't identify at the moment---but it causes very distinctive facial features.



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22 May 2018, 2:44 pm

I can't recognize people by their faces very well at all, likely because I don't make eye contact or actually look at their faces.
TV or movie characters are a little easier because I can look at them without them looking back, but the issue is that I seldom watch movies or TV. I really don't know any of the famous actors at all. You'd be surprised how few I know.



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22 May 2018, 2:45 pm

What sort of facial features do they have, kraftie? I could probably identify a disorder if it was written down, but looking at actual faces, forget it, even though I am very interested in the topic. Stupid face-blindness....


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Purpledragon
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22 May 2018, 2:45 pm

I have problems recognizing people if they are out of the place I usually see them, I have introduced myself to people I have met before on several occasions. I regulary have problems following movies and series if the caracters aren't distinguishable different. I especially have problem with children, to me they look the same to an extent. I try to memorise features when I meet people I feel it is important to recognize, it has helped me somewhat. It might even take me a few seconds to recognize my own children if I see them when I'm not prepared.
But I'm not totally blind to recognizing faces, I see that people are different and I can tell people apart if I've seen them many times. But it doesn't come naturally to me and usually takes some effort on my part if it isn't people I know well.

And hi by the way! :D



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22 May 2018, 2:46 pm

Purpledragon wrote:
I have problems recognizing people if they are out of the place I usually see them, I have introduced myself to people I have met before on several occasions. I regulary have problems following movies and series if the caracters aren't distinguishable different. I especially have problem with children, to me they look the same to an extent. I try to memorise features when I meet people I feel it is important to recognize, it has helped me somewhat. It might even take me a few seconds to recognize my own children if I see them when I'm not prepared.
But I'm not totally blind to recognizing faces, I see that people are different and I can tell people apart if I've seen them many times. But it doesn't come naturally to me and usually takes some effort on my part if it isn't people I know well.

And hi by the way! :D


Welcome to WrongPlanet! :D


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kraftiekortie
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22 May 2018, 3:17 pm

Most prominent is the hypetelorism. Meaning that the eyes are spaced widely apart. This is frequent in genetic disorders which cause intellectual disabilities.

There are also dental anomalies.



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22 May 2018, 3:43 pm

It’s not Jacobsen Syndorm you are thinking of?


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22 May 2018, 3:50 pm

I have trouble with it as well, even when my sister simply died her hair I couldn't tell it was her.


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kraftiekortie
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22 May 2018, 3:59 pm

I don't think it's Jacobsen Syndrome.



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22 May 2018, 4:05 pm

trouble with faces and also with telephone voices. it is said that we have these problems because of the absence of a functional facial recognition module in our brains, that our general object recognition module has to pick up the slack and it is never very good at it outside of select situations.